crufty [adj.]
1. Poorly built, possibly over-complex.
2. Unpleasant, especially to the
touch, often with encrusted junk. Like spilled coffee smeared with
peanut butter and catsup.
3. Generally unpleasant.
frobnicate [v.]
To manipulate or adjust, to tweak.One frequently frobs bits or other 2-state devices. Thus: “Please frob the light switch” (that is, flip it), but also “Stop frobbing that clasp; you’ll break it”. One also sees the construction “to frob a frob”.
cattywampus [adj.]
A slang word meaning awry or askew, as in “the newspapers were all cattywampus” on the floor. The word cattywampus may be used to imply crazy or chaotic.
crapulous [adj.]
1. Suffering the effects of, or derived from, or suggestive of gross intemperance, especially in drinking; as, a crapulous stomach.
2. Marked by gross intemperance, especially in drinking; as, a crapulous old reprobate.
crepuscular [adj.]
1. Pertaining to twilight; glimmering; hence, imperfectly clear or luminous.
2. (Zoology) Flying in the twilight or evening, or before sunrise; — said certain birds and insects.
quiddity [n.]
1. The essence, nature, or distinctive peculiarity, of a thing.
2. A trifling nicety; a cavil; a quibble.
propinquity [n.]
1. Nearness in place; neighborhood; proximity.
2. Nearness in time.
3. Nearness of blood; kindred; affinity.
prestidigitation [n.]
Manual dexterity in the execution of tricks; sleight of hand; legerdemain.
meretricious [adj.]
1. Of or pertaining to prostitutes; having to do with prostitutes.
2. Alluring by false show; gaudily and deceitfully ornamental; tawdry; as, meretricious dress or ornaments.
hirsute [adj.]
Covered with hair; set with bristles; shaggy; hairy.
ululate [v.]
To howl, as a dog or a wolf; to wail; as, ululating jackals.
floccinaucinihilipilification [n.]
The estimation of something as valueless.

§710 · August 6, 2005 · Tags: ·

3 Comments to “Words I don’t use often enough”

  1. Rusty says:

    We used to play a game in English lessons in school where, whenever we were given an essay to write or a story to invent, we’d give each other a list of 5 words which we then had to put into the essay/story. Obviously they were quite difficult, and sometimes impossible if we didn’t want to lose marks or credibility: “fish-slice” in a Macbeth essay, for example. It was great fun.

  2. Daryl says:

    Quddity is a great word. Me, I’m trying to use “incarnadine” in a sentence.

  3. Anthony says:

    Great post. Very informative. Whoever said your blog writing doesn’t further the development of English language hasn’t seen this post!

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